Ladies and gentleman, step right up, step right up! The fair is back in town next week, and that spells F-U-N for all ages.
This family-friendly event is a no-fly-zone for adult beverages, which is why TLC Sports Bar & Grill – the closest watering hole to the fairgrounds and to Williams-Brice Stadium – has come up with four cocktails for the fall season.
So what inspired head bartender Kareem Manning?
“When you think of the fair, you think of something sweet, like cotton candy,” he said. “But also when I think of fall, I think of coffees and espressos – something to keep you warm and get you started.”
For the Cockaboose express, Manning used Avion Espresso liqueur, Night Train coffee liqueur, Baileys Irish Cream, Kahlua and soda for a rich, creamy cocktail for caffeine with a kick.
The Cocky pecan also has a warm fall flavor. Combining William Wolf Whiskies pecan bourbon, Frangelico, DeKuyper Buttershots butterscotch schnapps and soda, the shot is a tasty pick-me-up.
“I drink different things according to the season,” said Manning. “During the winter, I drink bourbon, and in the summer I drink vodka, but I didn’t want to get too far away from summer with the fair drinks. They’re sweet and fruity.”
Take the fairground punch, for example. Made with three UV flavored vodkas – Blue, Orange and Cherry – you’re already in for a candy-coated cocktail buzz. Adding in sour mix, triple sec, lime juice and Sprite, its a “fair-ly” awesome punch.
“It tastes just like the fair,” Manning said.
Last, there’s the Gamecock blackout, which gets its name from its main ingredient, Malibu Black. Combined with pineapple juice, grenadine and triple sec, it’s a palate pleaser for anyone who doesn’t want to let go of the summer’s tropical vibes just yet.
“All these drinks complement each other flavor-wise,” said Manning. “And last year we had events and a few of the carnival workers came by, so we’re hoping to see more this year.”